I tried to get into Tiananmen Square in the middle of the big pre-Olympic celebration. The military not only had the whole square shut down, but they also had all the surrounding blocks at a standstill.
A taxi dropped me off where the police told him to drop me off – and my taxi driver did not ask questions. It was impossible for me to get over to the square. All of my cajoling and joking with the Chinese government police was absolutely not working. They neither found me charming nor amusing. It was about as useful as when I was stuck in immigration in Canada and trying to get back across the border using only my Blockbuster card as identification.
This left me in an older part of Beijing for about 5 hours trying to find my way back to my hotel or something I could recognize, since most of the car activity was shut down in the central part of the city. I went through a ton of back streets and captured many interesting things with my camera. I’ll post them in coming weeks!